A Complete Life-Change
To baptise means to immerse, to submerge, or to make fully wet. It Is a ceremonial act which was instigated in New Testament times by John, commonly known as John-the-Baptist, a man sent by God for this purpose (John 1:6, 29-34). Baptism was understood to be an outward proclamation of an inward conversion and was intended as a public demonstration of a person’s repentance and the forgiveness of their sins by God. The ceremony of baptism quickly became a popular event among the people of John’s day, with many coming to the River Jordan to spectate on and participate in “the baptism of John the Baptist”. For many, however, it was more like a trendy life event, rather than a complete lifestyle change.
John the Baptist made it clear when addressing the crowds that a little water meant nothing if they weren’t prepared to change their lives. Baptism was firstly intended to bring people to an acknowledgement and repentance of sin. Not only that, it needed to ignite the kingdom life within a believer, changing men and women from the inside out. It was, and is, a demonstration of belief in God and acceptance of His saving work.
Jesus Showed The Way
Although Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, as a descendant of Adam and part of the human race, he was also a recipient of the sentence of mortality passed on humanity because of Adam’s sin. In this way, he was just like us. Jesus didn’t need baptism for the forgiveness of sin – he never committed any. Yet, he still participated in a baptism of repentance, to ‘fulfill all righteousness’ (Matthew 3:15). He clearly demonstrated that what would be required of humanity (the act of belief and baptism), he would also undertake.
Jesus was the first baptism into his name and he showed the way forward for all humanity. By being baptised, he blazed a path for all believers, enabling them to participate in God’s wonderful plan. Upon rising from the water as a ‘new creation’, God’s Holy Spirit came to rest upon Jesus, in the form of a dove, marking his approval from God and his veracity as God’s son. This is a beautiful echo of the story first told to us in Genesis, where “God’s spirit hovered “like a bird” over the waters”, before beginning His incredible creative work.
The arrival of Jesus – Emmanuel (“God-With-Us”), was described by Isaiah the prophet like the arrival of God Himself, bringing salvation to humanity:
“A voice cries: “In the wilderness, prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3
Baptism is God’s arrangement for a person to gain a clean conscience based on their faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If you’d like to speak more about baptism with someone, we’d love to chat!
When we are saved by Jesus, God also brings us into family and puts us in community! We believe in the importance and significance of the local expression of Jesus’ body – the community of believers.
Homecoming is possible in Jesus. Discover who you were truly created to be and find out where you really belong. Becoming part of God’s family enables you to fully grow your discipleship in Jesus!